The Hostile World?

The Hostile World?

I saw a fascinating ‘discussion’ on twitter this morning. You could call it an argument, but I’ll stick with discussion. Maybe passionate discussion.

It was about that old favourite,gun control. And it really tuned in to something I’ve been realising more and more over the last few years, and that is a combination of two factors…

1. The world has an amazing habit of giving you what you want.
2. Two people can have completely opposing views and both be right.

So the discussion went something like this…

The original post said something like “have a gun to make yourself safer, or throw away your gun to make everyone else safer”.

Person A said that was poppycock, because it’s a hostile world out there and you should keep yourself defended – matching the hostility with equal hostility.

Person B (the original poster) said that the world isn’t actually all that hostile, and we’d all be better off not carrying guns and the place would actually improve.

And it came to me; like I said, something that’s been becoming more and more evident all the time… the world is a mirror.

If you approach the world wanting/expecting hostility, that is exactly what you’ll meet.

If you approach the world wanting/expecting peace, that is what you’ll meet.

Go out there, be excellent to people, expect the world to treat you well and (to an extent) it will do.

Sure, there will always be the wild-card… life throws blows in your direction. There are some nasty people… but meeting the world with hostility will not prevent those nasty people being nasty, and it will also encourage some people who would otherwise have been nice to show their nasty side.

I realised this in around 2006/7 at a time when I was very negative, and the world was a horrible place full of idiots. Due to life events, my attitude changed and I started seeing the positive… strangely the world suddenly became a nice place full of helpful people.

Now I know for a FACT that the entire population of the country did not change their outlook overnight. That would be impossible. However, their treatment of me was completely different.

The world is a mirror. Reality has a very strong tendency to give you exactly what you expect of it.

And so, yes… I believe the differing views of persons A and B were both completely right.

What do you think?

18th September, 2013 Comments are Disabled Read More
Really REALLY Slow YouTube

Really REALLY Slow YouTube

I’ve been at the end of my tether recently with all video streaming on my machine running ridiculously slowly. I mean ridiculously slowly. Like running at the lowest possible quality and it still sitting there doing nothing, buffering, and generally not working.

I went to an internet speed checker… 16Mb/s. That’s pretty quick.

Then the speed checker on YouTube which reported that it’d be quicker to send videos by pigeon post than try to download them.

What’s occurring?

It took a while to figure out, but I discovered that I was on O2′s “The Basics” package. It offers full-speed internet for everything except video and file sharing.

Coming from a ‘free internet’ (free as in speech, not free as in beer) background, I didn’t realise that they could do, or do do that.

Upgraded to “The All Rounder” and suddenly I can view full-screen, HD video real-time with no buffering. The connection speed has not been upgraded; just the video streaming throttle removed.

Four quid a month makes a lot of difference.

25th July, 2013 Comments are Disabled Read More
The 8 Ways to Create Wealth

The 8 Ways to Create Wealth

I followed an advert from facebook claiming to tell me about the 8 Ways to Create Wealth. It was actually much more interesting than I bargained for…

Roger Hamilton has produced some work looking at different ways the super-rich have built their wealth; it suggests that the advice you get from each may or may not be right for you depending if you have the right character to build wealth in the same way.

For example, if you are a “mechanic” like McDonald’s founder Ray Krock, it’s unlikely that advice from a “deal maker” such as Donald Trump would work for you.

I won’t ramble any more, go check out the page!

I love the quote: “If you are doing anything that feels like hard work, you are already doing the wrong thing.”

It’s fun to identify yourself and those around you; as well as other well known money-makers. Where do you fit?

8th July, 2013 Comments are Disabled Read More
An Interesting Lesson

An Interesting Lesson

I change my mind as often as … erm … something that changes really fast changes.

It’s been an interesting few months… I was alerted to the fact that I was being negative, turning work down… I used to say I do business photography, “so that means no weddings, no families, no kids”. I had one client who wanted CV photographs of his university-age children but was afraid to ask in case that counted as families or kids.

What’s interesting is that I’ve always been happy to do the odd wedding, the odd event; to hand-pick the events I’d love to do and not take on those that would be too far off my target for the business.

Naturally, the initial disinclination was there to avoid one of the killers in business – distraction. I didn’t want to loose focus on the real goal.

The most interesting thing is, though, that when I opened my mind to social photography and started saying ‘yes’ to anything, I didn’t actually get very much social photography.

However, the business photography took off like wildfire.

By being more positive on the whole, it led to a huge growth in the business I was really targetting.

An interesting lesson.

So… I am not marketing consumer photography, but I am still very willing to hand-pick the odd event that interests and excites me (I have a 50th Birthday Party and a wedding booked at the moment).

But what I’m really not doing is giving off any negative vibes. The right sort of weddings and events will be naturally attracted to me, while I focus on marketing the business photography as it was always intended.

8th July, 2013 1 comment Read More
Value As Opinion – Revisited

Value As Opinion – Revisited

I know I go on about this a lot, but I’ve had some fascinating data today that really shows how wide opinions can be to the value of something.

I’ve been doing some research using A/B comparisons to discover the added value a professional photo can have on a product. Asking real people to look at a professional image of a chair, then an amateur image of the same chair (or in the opposite order).

It’s early days, but so far, the highest and lowest values put on the professional image are…

Are you ready…

£40 and £850

Really. There is an £810 difference in two people’s opinion of the value of the same object. Both respondants were male, the £40 one was a student around 20 years old, the other was around 60 years old (and probably not a student; I didn’t ask). But what a huge discrepancy. I guess this shows why games like “The Price is Right” work so well.

The moral of this story: if you sell chairs, target your marketing at 60-year-olds! (maybe)

6th March, 2013 Comments are Disabled Read More
First World Problems #2 – Freemium

First World Problems #2 – Freemium

Wow. Do people actually pay real-world money for virtual-world goods and services?

This is really taking the concept of value to the extremes… what is it about virtual-world goods—things you can use in a game—that make them worth real-world cash? Are the people spending this real/virtual cash the same ones who are complaining about the recession? About the lack of funds around?

Robert Kiyosaki (RichDad) is right when he says (paraphrasing) “If you believe there is a shortage of money in the world, you will be poor. At any moment, there are billions of dollars flying around just looking for someone who wants to catch them.”

Read the BBC’s story about virtual purchases and the Freemium model:

1st March, 2013 Comments are Disabled Read More
How We Get Better

How We Get Better

I had a lightbulb moment today while listening to a tele-seminar by Dov Gordon. He went into why it’s difficult for me and easy for everyone else.

Of course, the answer is that it isn’t easy for everyone else, they’re simply pushing through.

What are they pushing through?

Dov Gordon picks up an article by Steven Pressfield. He says they’re pushing through the “herky-jerky spasm-fest marked by seeming dead-ends, plateaus, dark nights of the soul, intervals of boredom and stasis, not to mention bouts of terror, despair and self-doubt, which are followed, if we’re lucky, by quantum leaps to the next level.”

Read Steven Pressfield’s article about How We Get Better.

And check out Dov Gordon.

It’s all beginning to make sense again. Until the next level…

28th February, 2013 Comments are Disabled Read More
QR Shenanigans

QR Shenanigans

I learned something new about QR codes last week. If you increase the error correction, you can then mess about with the code and it’s still (generally) readable.

Naturally, I can’t condone this wanton abuse of technology. But it’s fun. I bet you already know where the following code will lead…

How have you abused a QR code? Or how else have you abused techonolgy?

28th February, 2013 Comments are Disabled Read More
Bayesian Probability

Bayesian Probability

We’re happy to talk about the probability of a future event happening. But what about the probability of a past event happening?

An article tweeted by @samholloway this week really got me thinking. Most people are happy to talk about the probability of a past event; but just like my posts on opinion and fact, this phenomenon—known as Bayesian Probability—is something that isn’t compatible with the real world.

In the real world, an event did or didn’t happen. You can’t give a probability that it did or didn’t happen. Just because you don’t have all of the information required, it doesn’t mean that something is more or less likely to have happened. It has already happened or not happened.

I’ll let you read the article itself rather than try, ineffectively, to put the points across here.

Please let me know what you think! How does our ignorance of detail affect the outcome of events that have already occurred?

26th February, 2013 Comments are Disabled Read More